Porter Ranch homeowners have been waging a years-long court battle against the Southern California Gas Company, whose storage well was responsible for the largest methane leak in U.S. history, one that sickened thousands of people in the San Fernando Valley.
This week, SoCalGas agreed to pay $1.8 billion to settle lawsuits filed by thousands of residents, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The SoCalGas-operated facility in Aliso Canyon leaked about 100,000 tons of methane, ethane, and other chemicals over a four-month period starting in October 2015.
Thousands of homeowners and residents in and around the Porter Ranch neighborhood were sickened, reporting nosebleeds, nausea, rashes, and other ailments, according to the Times. Around 8,000 people were ultimately evacuated.
SoCalGas and parent company Sempra Energy denied any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
Attorneys for the roughly 35,000 plaintiffs said SoCalGas had no plan in place when the leak began. The lawyers said compensation will be distributed to victims after an analysis of the impacts.
[LAT] — Dennis Lynch